Donations adding up for Salvation Army

By Victoria White

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Major Bruce Aldersley with a collection bucket at the Hastings Salvation Army Family Store, where donations can also be made. Photo / Duncan Brown
Major Bruce Aldersley with a collection bucket at the Hastings Salvation Army Family Store, where donations can also be made. Photo / Duncan Brown

More than 400 people are pounding the pavements with collection buckets this week, as they try to raise money for the Salvation Army's annual Red Shield Appeal Week.

Corps officer Major Alister Irwin said so far people had been very responsive.

"It seems most people are in generous spirits, most people are donating which we are very grateful for," he said.

On average, $15,000 in donations is collected from Red Shield appeal buckets in Napier alone.

This amount is more than doubled when combined with the money raised from the different avenues of the appeal week, with about $35,000 coming back into Napier to help those in need through the army's community outreach programme.

The East Coast, including Hawke's Bay, was an area the Salvation Army was particularly watchful of because it was "an indication of how the rest of New Zealand will go".

Mr Irwin said Hawke's Bay was an area vulnerable to poverty, and there was a tension within families to find work. This was partly due to the seasonal economy and because most Hawke's Bay businesses were medium to small, and could not employ large numbers.

This meant budgeting and teaching people life skills was a focus for the Hawke's Bay Salvation Army.

"When people come to us for the first time, the money they have put aside for food has been spent on health-related issues or travel-related issues," Mr Irwin said. "If they come for a second time, the conversation is more about what they are doing to save a bit of a buffer, and how to manage their money and build life skills.

"People, as they engage with us, they see the ability in themselves so they can walk in the world with their head high and shoulders back."

Mr Irwin said the army was very grateful for the public's support.

- Donations can be made by calling 0800 53 00 00, online at www.redshield.org.nz, by selecting a gift from the Salvation Army Gifts of Hope catalogue (www.salliesgiftsofhope.org), appeal envelope inserts, or at Countdown checkouts and army family stores.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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